7 steps to avoid falling victim to card fraud

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Australians lost over half a billion dollars to card fraud last financial year1. While cyber criminals use increasingly clever tactics to get hold of your money, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.

If your card is used online or over the phone without needing a signature or PIN, it’s known as a ‘card-not-present’ transaction. Worryingly, 85% of all card fraud is due to card-not-present fraud, and it’s growing fast.

85% of all card fraud is ‘card-not-present’ fraud, and it increased 7.8% in 20182.

Here are some simple ways you can reduce your risk of card fraud, and keep your money safe online.

1. Read your statements

As soon as you get your card statement, check it carefully for any unusual activity. Remember that some merchants will trade under a different name to the one you’re used to, and that you may have forgotten about direct debits or regular subscriptions.

If there’s a payment that shouldn’t be there, call your card issuer immediately to have it investigated.

2. Shop safely online

Beware of pop-up notifications saying a site is not secure when shopping online. Before you enter any personal details, check the URL starts with ‘https’ – the ‘s’ indicates a secure protocol is in place to protect your details.

Although it seems convenient, it’s not a good idea to save your payment details when prompted to online. If your phone or laptop is stolen or the website is hacked, your card details might be the first thing a cyber-criminal looks for.

3. Know how to spot phishy messages

If you think phishing (Email), vishing (phone) and smishing (sms) are some new-age slang, you’re not alone. But in fact, they are common types of scams sent via email, phone or SMS messages to get you to part with your hard-earned dollars. In 2018 Australians lost over $930,000 to phishing scams alone3.

This video can help you detect and report any suspicious messages to your lender or you can report it directly to Scamwatch.

4. Keep your personal info out of the bin

Have you given your filing cabinet a good spring clean? Dispose of your bank statements and other identifying documents carefully. Shred them, soak them in water, or chop them up into small pieces and throw these out in different bags or bins. The same goes for your old credit cards.

5. Keep your card safe

Contactless technology like Visa payWave® has made everyday purchases much faster and more convenient. But it’s also made it easier for criminals to access your money if they get their hands on your card. So, make sure you keep it safe at all times and if you lose it, contact your card issuer immediately.

If you’ve decided not to use your card, that’s OK – but don’t just leave it in a drawer and forget about it. Let your card provider know, as you may have the option to place a temporary block on the card until you want to use it again.

6. Free WiFi may not be worth the risk

Free public WiFi networks aren’t always secure from cyber criminals, so avoid making payments, logging into online banking or sharing your credit card details unless you are on a secure private network.

7. Notify your card provider if you’re travelling

If you’re heading overseas, make sure to let your card provider know where you are going so that they can monitor your transaction activity. It is likely that if you start using your card somewhere unusual they’ll try get in touch to confirm the transaction, and if you don’t reply, they might block your card to protect your account and money – which could be frustrating if you are overseas and planned to use your card on your travels!

Suspicious activity on your Pepper Visa Debit Card?

Pepper’s Visa Debit card provider is Indue, so if you suspect a fraudulent transaction on your Pepper loan Visa Debit card, please contact them immediately on 07 3258 4240 or email fraudservices@indue.com.au. You can also call their 24-hour Visa emergency hotline, on 1800 621 199 for out of hours support. 

Need more information? Visit our Help Centre Visa Debit card assistance page.

Other Helpful Resources:


1. Australian Payments Network, Fraud Statistics July 2017 – July 2018
2. https://www.auspaynet.com.au/resources/fraud-statistics/July-2018-June-2018
3. https://www.afcx.com.au/2019/01/20/staying-off-the-phishing-hook/

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